The Predators will face either the Anaheim Ducks or Edmonton Oilers for the right to come out of the West.
The story of the series has been: Washington will outshoot, outhit and command play against Pittsburgh, but Marc-Andre Fleury will steal a win.
Even when they trailed 3-1 in the series, the Capitals didn’t feel defeated. Penguins winger Bryan Rust collides with Capitals goalie Braden Holtby (70) during the third period of Game 6 of Pittsburgh and Washington’s Stanley Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference semifinal series.
What the Penguins need to do if they want to take the next step in becoming the first Stanley Cup champion in almost 20 years to repeat is pretty clear. The Pens have a 5-0 road record in Game 7s.
Backed up to the precipice against a rival that’s tormented them for decades, the Capitals finally punched back.
“Just like all players, you grow into certain roles with your team”, Trotz said. Anyone who watched Crosby go headfirst into the boards late in the first period of Game 6 against the Washington Capitals had a hard time understanding how the concussion spotters, both at the PPG Paints Arena and in the player safety room in NY, could not have immediately ordered him off the Penguins’ bench and off the ice for further observation.
The Ovechkin line had 12 shot attempts at even strength – eight against defenseman Justin Schultz – along with the Great Eight tallying a much-needed insurance goal in the third period during Game 5. Crosby and Malkin will have to be no less than excellent on both ends of the ice Wednesday night.
“We gave ourselves the opportunity to continue to play hockey”.
“We have to be pretty mature about this, though. They’re going to bring it”. Washington systematically dismantled the defending Stanley Cup champions, who looked listless as they struggled to generate any kind of sustained pressure. We’ll regroup. We’re going to enjoy this. He’s one of those guys who just has really good edge-work, so he’s really deceptive with his speed. “Whatever it takes for you to get ready, whether it’s a hit or making a good play”.
The Capitals dominated the Penguins so thoroughly that Pittsburgh only had nine shots on goal after 40 minutes. Pittsburgh’s first shot in the opening 17 minutes was a 136-foot flip by Brian Dumoulin that made its way to Holtby.
Fleury kept Pittsburgh in the game with several strong saves, including one he smothered from Alex Ovechkin in the left circle during a power play, a reaching glove save on Carlson and a pad save on Lars Eller from the slot.
Fine. Crosby said he was checked by a doctor between the first and second periods. “That’s a game we thought we probably should have had”. We might look back and suggest that this was, in its own way, a prelude to the Cup. “I can’t believe we have to say that in 2017”.
Pittsburgh had a couple of scary moments in the first.
This year’s Penguins-Capitals Game 5 was up 4% vs. the same series’ Game 5 last year (Total Audience Deliver of 4.187 million), which also aired after the Kentucky Derby. The play occurred with 2:14 to go in the first period.
A week removed from a concussion that sidelined him for a game, Crosby ended up skating slowly off the ice after what he described as having the wind knocked out of him.
That’s clear when Crosby, the best player in the world, can take a devastating hit just days after a concussion, only for the league to respond by noting the intricacies of the rulebook leave their hands tied.
The Capitals certainly did not sit on their lead. “We were down 3-2 (in the series)”.
Ready for playoff hockey?
EDMONTON, Alberta – Leon Draisaitl had three goals and two assists, Mark Letestu added two goals and two assists, and Edmonton cruised past Anaheim to force a decisive Game 7 in their Western Conference semifinal series. Goaltender John Gibson was pulled from his only Game 7 start in 2014 after allowing four goals on 18 shots, and hes coming another hook after three goals on six shots in a 7-1 drubbing in Game 6 on Sunday.
Defensemen Chad Ruhwedel and Mark Streit are likely the top candidates to replace Daley in the lineup. The HBK line did wonders for the Penguins in the playoffs last year, so let’s hope they can do the same this year. It’s a chapter in the legacy of the two most important players of their generation, Sidney Crosby and Ovechkin. “FLEU-RY!” and might’ve planted enough of a seed of belief for the Washington Capitals against the Pittsburgh Penguins.